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Sensational silver for Otley cyclist at London Olympic Games
Olympic fever gripped the district this week as Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead cycled to sensational silver medal glory.
The 23-year-old’s home town erupted into celebrations after she won Team GB’s first medal of the London 2012 Games by storming to second place in a gripping road race.
Her incredible achievement sparked an outpouring of emotion across Otley and beyond, with everyone who had either travelled to London on Sunday to cheer her on or screamed encour-agement at their TV sets desperate to congratulate her.
And it left the former Prince Henry’s Grammar School student’s family, who were in the capital for the momentous occasion, bursting with pride, with her brother, Nick, hailing an ‘amazing’ effort.
Lizzie’s mother, Carol, said: “It is more than we could have hoped for.”
In the wake of her stunning success, an emotional Lizzie Tweeted: “The best day of my life!”
Otley Town Council is promising a huge welcoming party for the local heroine. Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh said: “It couldn’t have happened to a better person, and to a better family.
“In all the time I've lived in Otley, I can’t think of a single thing that has united the town in quite the same way.”
Coun Vickers said: “We are so proud of this wonderful achievement. We shall be having big celebrations.”
Unfortunately, Lizzie failed to add to her super silver in the women’s time trial race yesterday, when Team GB were pipped to the post in the sprint for medals.
And it was third time unlucky for Guiseley’s Debbie Flood after her rowing crew came sixth in the women’s quadruple skulls.
Debbie, who had already won silvers in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, had hoped to add to her medal tally, but it was not to be.
But Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Pat Latty said: “We are all still very proud of her.”
Councillor Graham Latty added: “After all the preparation and training, taking part must have been a pinnacle in her career. It is just a shame she wasn’t able to get any medals - I do feel for her.”
Fellow Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth said: “I’d like to congratulate Debbie on getting to the final. It’s great to watch athletes from Leeds performing on the Olympic stage, and I know everyone in Guiseley will be proud of her.”